Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun Toure of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) led the call for partners to the Telecentre Women Campaign yesterday, June 21, at the Opening Session of the Asia Pacific Regional Forum on Digital Inclusion For All held at the Suntec Convention Center in Singapore. The session was attended by around 100 ITU members from the government and the private sector, including 14 Ministers/Heads of Information and Communications Technology agencies, from 22 Asia Pacific countries.
In his address to the audience, Dr. Toure talked about the power of ICTs to lift women out of poverty, citing the potential of the Telecentre Women Campaign, a joint initiative by the ITU and Telecentre.org Foundation which aims to ensure that 1 million women worldwide will receive digital literacy training by the end of 2012. He praised the national telecentre networks in ITU member states, as well as ITU sector members, Intel and Microsoft who have already pledged their support for the campaign. He then urged organizations to follow suit saying, “I would like to encourage all ITU members, both from the public and private sector to join this campaign.”
Dr. Toure’s call for partners was reiterated by Tess Camba, Telecentre.org Foundation Acting Executive Director, and Secretary Ivan John Uy, Chairman of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology in the Philippines and member of the Board of Trustees for Telecentre.org Foundation.
In his brief remarks to the audience, Sec. Uy expressed the Philippines’s commitment to the campaign and recalled the story of Telecentre Woman Ambassador Myrna Padilla, a former overseas domestic helper and the current founder of Mynd Consulting, a company specializing in web development, graphic design and programming services. Sec. Uy said, “It’s time that we develop more digitally empowered women like Myrna not only in the Philippines but all over the world.” He wrapped up his remarks by emphasizing the need for more partners in the campaign, focusing particularly on public-private partnerships in the training of women.
Tess Camba reported that since the campaign’s launch at the 3rd Global Forum on Telecentres last April 7 in Santiago, Chile, over 63,000 women have already been trained in basic ICT literacy. She also asked the audience to extend their support. “We need your help,” Ms. Camba said, “The momentum, the scope, the reach of the campaign to the far corners of the world can only be made possible by the commitment and contribution brought in by partners to this campaign.”
For more information on the Telecentre Women Campaign and how to become a partner, please visit http://women.telecentre.org.